The head of the North Carolina Republican Party has repeatedly taken to social media to attempt to conflate the Democratic Party -- and its current 2016 front-runner former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton -- with the Ku Klux Klan.
WRAL Channel 5 reported that the state's GOP Chairman Hasan Harnett posted the following message to Twitter on July 23:
Say NO to the #Democrat Lies #Liberal Agenda. #BlackLivesMatter #KeepGodFirst http://t.co/ueREVWozzS— Hasan Harnett (@Hasan Harnett) 1437663845.0
It was preceded by this message:
Say NO to the #HillaryClinton and the #Liberal Takeover. #ChristianLivesMatter #KeepGodFirst http://t.co/JAWEcsCmPT— Hasan Harnett (@Hasan Harnett) 1437569165.0
Harnett is referring to the Democratic Party before the Republicans' anti-integration Southern Strategy of the 1960s swelled the GOP's ranks by drawing white racists away from the Democratic Party. It is a common misdirection ploy used by modern Republicans when trying to deflect charges of racism against their party.
Harnett would not comment on the misleading tweets, but state Republican Party Executive Director Todd Poole said, "The chairman isn't going to comment or give interviews on tweets, but as the first black chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, he believes we have to learn from history and move past it."
North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Ford Porter said, "Chairman Harnett's troubling comments pretty much encapsulate the current Republican brand in North Carolina: inflammatory rhetoric, a little unhinged and completely focused on anything and everything other than creating jobs or improving our schools. It's no wonder that everyday families are ready for a change in Raleigh."
Duke University political science professor Kerry Haynie told Channel 5 that Harnett's tweets display "a knowing disregard for historical truth."
The idea that somehow Hillary Clinton and the Klan are linked, he said, is just a form of "race-baiting" and "an outrageous untruth that has no place coming from a responsible political party."